Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate-O-Rama 2016

Today's the day! Tonight, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in probably the most anticipated presidential debate in political history. If you miss it, (a) are you living under a rock? and (b) there will be two more chances to watch those two clash in October (plus a vice-presidential debate).

But true fans of the political soap opera need more than just four fixes every four years. There are thousands of elections taking place this November, from the presidential on down to the state and local level, and most of the people running in them will also pontificate and bicker—on public-access TV, radio shows, League of Women Voters events—at debates of their own.

Unlike with the presidential debates, though, there is no master commission scheduling and regulating these downballot fora. With candidates agreeing to and canceling debate appearances on a case-by-case, TV-station-by-TV-station basis, it's incredibly hard to keep track of when non-presidential candidates are debating, even for prominent offices like U.S. Senate. What's a debate junkie to do?

My solution: crowdsource. I've started this Google spreadsheet with the aim of creating a full schedule of debates for senatorial, gubernatorial, and congressional campaigns nationwide; now all we have to do is compile the data. I've started things out by including all debate information I could readily find online, but I'm sure that plenty of debates are missing. That's where you come in. The document is fully editable by the public, so please, if you see a notice for an upcoming debate that isn't on the list, add it yourself. Then, when the time comes, sit back and marathon them all like Netflix is broken.

For your viewing pleasure, here is the full, ever-evolving list of 2016 political debates: